LA MIRADA, Calif.-- A day after snapping its six-game losing streak the Azusa Pacific baseball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Biola on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars recorded just 14 hits on the day, losing 6-2 to the Eagles in game one, before giving up a 4-0 lead to lose 6-4 in game two.
Matt Kimmel hit his second home run of the season, and pushed his RBI streak to seven games, while Danny Gonzales tabbed a pair of RBIs in the 6-4 loss. Freshman short stop Daniel Martin notched the first RBI of his career, and Richie Brown tallied his fourth RBI on a one-run double in the fifth inning of game two.
Freshman Nate Namanny tossed 4.1 innings in game two, and held Biola to only one hit in the first four innings before the Eagles exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fifth. He allowed just two hits and two runs in his first start of the season, leaving the game with the Cougars leading 4-0. Hunter Brown started his second game of the year to open the day, pitching into the fifth inning before leaving with three strikeouts. Brown gave up three runs (two earned) and six hits in the loss.
In the first game both pitchers were in control early, holding both offenses scoreless through the first three frames. Biola, however, broke the scoreless tie when Michael Annunziata scored on a Vince Lawrence single in the fourth. In the fifth the Eagles made it a 3-0 game on back-to-back base hits before Biola went up 5-0 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly, and a bases-loaded beaned batter.
Azusa Pacific finally got on the board in the seventh frame when Kimmel followed a Martin single with a home run to right center. The two RBIs lifted the junior center fielder’s total to a team-high nine this year. Biola extended its lead to 6-2 in the eighth on a Benji Sutherland single before the Cougars ended the Eagles’ bases loaded threat with 6-4-3 double play.
In game two the Cougars were in control for the majority of the contest, grabbing a 2-0 lead in the third, and pushing it to 4-0 in the top of the fifth. In the third inning Joseph Daris and Joe Huthsing led off with back-to-back singles, before being sacrificed over the second and third on a sac-bunt from Mitch Dergazarian. Two batters later Gonzales hit a two-run single to center to make it a 2-0 game.
In the fifth Martin hit a sac-fly to plate Huthsing, and Brown doubled to center to score Kimmel before Gonzales was thrown out at the plate. The Eagles, however, came back with a six-run fifth inning, recording five hits to grab a 6-4 edge. In the top of the seventh Tyler Putjenter gave Azusa Pacific one last chance with a single to put the tying run at the plate, but the Cougars couldn’t cash in on the opportunity to lose their third game to Biola in the four-game series.
Azusa Pacific will have a chance to start anew when it opens Pacific West play next weekend at Holy Names for a pair of doubleheaders in Oakland on Friday and Saturday. The games are slated for 11 a.m. and 10 a.m. respectively.